Guest poem submitted by Divya Sampath:
(Poem #866) The Canonization
For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love, Or chide my palsy, or my gout, My five grey hairs, or ruin'd fortune flout, With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve, Take you a course, get you a place, Observe his Honour, or his Grace, Or the King's real, or his stamped face Contemplate, what you will, approve, So you will let me love. Alas, alas, who's injur'd by my love? What merchant's ships have my sighs drown'd? Who says my tears have overflow'd his ground? When did my colds a forward spring remove? When did the heats which my veins fill Add one more to the plaguy bill? Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still Litigious men, which quarrels move, Though she and I do love. Call us what you will, we are made such by love; Call her one, me another fly, We are tapers too, and at our own cost die, And we in us find th' eagle and the dove. The phoenix riddle hath more wit By us; we two being one, are it. So, to one neutral thing both sexes fit, We die and rise the same, and prove Mysterious by this love. We can die by it, if not live by love, And if unfit for tombs and hearse Our legend be, it will be fit for verse; And if no piece of chronicle we prove, We'll build in sonnets pretty rooms; As well a well-wrought urn becomes The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs, And by these hymns all shall approve Us canoniz'd for love; And thus invoke us: "You, whom reverend love Made one another's hermitage; You, to whom love was peace, that now is rage; Who did the whole world's soul contract, and drove Into the glasses of your eyes (So made such mirrors, and such spies, That they did all to you epitomize) Countries, towns, courts: beg from above A pattern of your love!"
John Donne has always been one of my favorites among the metaphysical poets. I particularly like this poem, which contends that his love, while not the sort that inspires epic poetry or is immortalised in tragic plays, is still worthy - "and if no piece of chronicle we prove / we'll build in sonnets pretty rooms." Divya. [Biography] Donne, John (1572-1631), English poet, prose writer, and clergyman, considered the greatest of the metaphysical poets and one of the greatest writers of love poetry. Donne was born in London; at the age of 11 he entered the University of Oxford, where he studied for three years. According to some accounts, he spent the next three years at the University of Cambridge but took no degree at either university. He began the study of law at Lincoln's Inn, London, in 1592. About two years later, presumably, he relinquished the Roman Catholic faith, in which he had been brought up, and joined the Anglican church. His first book of poems, Satires, written during this period of residence in London, is considered one of Donne's most important literary efforts. Although not immediately published, the volume had a fairly wide readership through private circulation of the manuscript, as did his love poems, Songs and Sonnets, written at about the same time as the Satires. The poetry of Donne is characterized by complex imagery and irregularity of form. He frequently employed the conceit, an elaborate metaphor making striking syntheses of apparently unrelated objects or ideas. His intellectuality, introspection, and use of colloquial diction, seemingly unpoetic but always uniquely precise in meaning and connotation, make his poetry boldly divergent from the smooth, elegant verse of his day. The content of his love poetry, often both cynical and sensuous, represents a reaction against the sentimental Elizabethan sonnet, and this work influenced the attitudes of the Cavalier poets. Those 17th-century religious poets sometimes referred to as the metaphysical poets, including Richard Crashaw, George Herbert, and Henry Vaughan, drew much inspiration from the imagery and spirituality of Donne's religious poetry. Donne was almost forgotten during the 18th century, but interest in his work developed during the 19th century, and his popularity reached new heights after the 1920s, when Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot acknowledged his influence. Donne also wrote the Anniversaries, an elegy in two parts (1611-1612); collections of essays; and six collections of sermons. -- [broken link] http://encarta.msn.com [Minstrels Links] John Donne: Poem #330, A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning Poem #384, Song Poem #403, A Lame Beggar Poem #465, The Sun Rising Poem #796, Death Be Not Proud (Holy Sonnets: X)